Track your time to enjoy life more ft. Laura Vanderkam

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Time is money! But many of us know exactly where our money goes, but have no idea where our time goes. Once you know where the time goes, you can make changes that will help you spend more time on the things you value and less where you don’t (just like budgeting). Over on the Oh My Dollar! forums, we’re doing a fun time tracking challenge, March of Time this month. We brought on the expert of experts on Time Tracking, Laura Vanderkam, to talk about tracking your time.

For example, do you know how much time in a week you spend:

  • in meetings that don’t accomplish anything
  • doing dishes
  • chatting with coworkers about this weekend’s soccer game
  • reading to your kids
  • connecting with friends
  • online shopping/scrolling
  • watching youtube videos of Jenna Marbles blowing bubbles with her hair

Tracking your time has a ton of benefits:

  • Learning how you can change your time to fit your values
  • figuring out if you’re actually saving money paying for the unlimited gym membership rather than by class
  • understanding just how much time you do spend on things that you value (family, hobbies)
  • allowing you to come up with compelling data-based case for outsourcing, splitting household chores differently, or hiring help at work
  • finding “wasted” time that could be used for fun pursuits or batch chores (listening to a language learning podcast on your commute? folding laundry or stretching while watching TV, etc)
  • understanding the times of day you’re actually productive vs spinning your wheels
  • finding the time each week that you can easily add something you value (always sit on your butt on friday night and eat nachos but want to hang out with your friend more? Maybe invite them over to sit on their butt with nachos with you.)
  • get pretty charts

About Laura Vanderkam

Headshot of Laura Vanderkam, smiling at the camera with a black shirt

Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including Juliet’s School of Possibilities, Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. She is the host of the podcast Before Breakfast and the co-host, with Sarah Hart-Unger, of the podcast Best of Both Worlds. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and five children, and blogs at

Resources for Time Tracking

Please read this Time Tracking 101 from Laura Vanderkam, who has done the most extensive work on time tracking, including getting time logs from hundreds of people, and has published several books on the topic. I really recommend I Know How She Does – one of my favorite books by her, and my all-time favorite productivity book.

Apps for tracking your time:

Oh My Dollar! news

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